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Law enforcement on Long Island adopt Blue Alert system for violence against police

Police vehicles are parked outside the headquarters of the Yonkers Police Department in Yonkers, N.Y. Since 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice has been investigating the Yonkers Police Department and recommending areas for reform.
José A. Alvarado Jr.
Police vehicles are parked outside the headquarters of the Yonkers Police Department.

Law enforcement on Long Island have implemented a Blue Alert system to help respond to violence against police officers.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said the system would alert the public to help identify anyone suspected of killing or injuring a law enforcement officer.

“We don't want them to take any action,” Blakeman said. “We want them to call 911 if they get this alert and they see something and they know what's going on.”

The system is modeled after the Amber Alert for missing children and the Silver Alert for missing vulnerable adults.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation last December allowing law enforcement agencies to implement Blue Alert systems. Supporters of the legislation pointed to an FBI report highlighting an increase in violence against police officers in 2021, including an alarming jump in police murders.

"We have our public officials getting together speaking and listening to our law enforcement experts to come up with legislation that is going to help keep not only police officers safe, but our communities safe, as well," Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said.

A nationwide system was founded in 2015 after New York City police officers were killed a year prior in a point-blank shooting in Brooklyn by a gunman who ambushed them in their patrol car.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.